Today’s Climate: December 25, 2009

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Mexico Calls for Binding Climate Accord at 2010 Summit (AP)

Mexico, host of next year’s COP16, seeks to accomplish what the Copenhagen conference failed to do: Secure an agreement between developed and poorer nations to cut emissions 50 percent by 2050. It would use 2000 as the base point.

China Says ‘Right to Develop’ Key to Climate Talks in 2010 (Reuters)

China will treat talks on a binding global climate change pact in 2010 as a struggle over the "right to develop", a Chinese official said, signaling more tough deal-making will follow Copenhagen.

DOE to Study Storage Options for Spent Nuclear Fuel (ClimateWire)

The Energy Department is close to naming a committee to consider new policies for dealing with spent nuclear reactor fuel but has further to go in completing negotiations on loan guarantees for a first group of new nuclear reactors.

Beef Group Challenges EPA Endangerment Finding (Reuters)

A beef industry group has challenged a ruling by U.S. environmental regulators that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health and welfare, saying the move would hurt agriculture.

Washington Governor Aims for Carbon-Neutral Government by 2020 (Recharge)

On returning from the climate conference in Copenhagen, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire set her state government on a path to becoming carbon neutral by 2020.

China Considering Reserve for Rare Earth Metals (AP)

China will create a reserve for rare earths next year to prevent waste of the exotic metals used in computers and clean-energy products, an official told state media.

UN: India, China Gain from Climate Meeting (Reuters)

The UN climate panel said that the BASIC bloc — Brazil, South Africa, India and China — has become an important force in international climate politics, paving the way for leadership in future climate negotiations.

Cellulosic Ethanol Struggles For Financing (Dow Jones)

Cellulosic ethanol production, a cornerstone of the U.S. government’s plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions, is earmarked to overtake corn ethanol over the next decade. But the industry’s expected take-off could be delayed by a year.

Rise of Wind Turbines Is a Boon for Rope Workers (New York Times)

A dream job for rock climbers, rope specialists have long filled niche jobs like inspecting big dams and cleaning Mount Rushmore. But as wind farms have sprouted, rope companies have expanded into a new line of work — fixing turbines.

NREL: UPS Hybrids Deliver Almost 29% Greater Fuel Economy (Green Car Congress)

UPS’ first-generation diesel hybrid delivery vans improved the on-road fuel economy by 28.9%, resulting in a 15% improvement in total cost per mile, according to an assessment by the National Renewable Energy Lab.

Pennsylvania Court Backs Mercury Ruling (AP)

Pennsylvania’s high court upheld a decision to toss out a state rule requiring that coal-fired power plants cut mercury emissions beyond federal standards.

In Drought, California Learns Value of Going Green (USA Today)

After three years of drought, Southern California is learning to go green by going brown. Restrictions on water use in homes and businesses imposed this year have produced a 15% savings.

Stewart Brand’s Strange Trip to Nuclear Power (Yale Environment 360)

When the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog embraces nuclear power, genetically engineered crops, and geoengineering schemes to cool the planet, you know things have changed in the environmental movement.

The Real Avatar Story (Mongabay)

For decades real indigenous tribes around the world have faced off with corporations — mining, logging, oil and gas — determined to exploit their land.